Ranking the Top 15 Players in the Big Ten for 2014 (Experts Poll)

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Ranking the Top 15 Players in the Big Ten for 2014 (Experts Poll)

The Big Ten may have slipped slightly in terms of conference pecking order over the last couple of seasons, but there’s no shortage of talent returning to the league in 2014. Of course, the season-ending shoulder injury to Braxton Miller eliminates one of the league’s Heisman contenders, but Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon is a first-team All-American by Athlon Sports, and there’s star power on defense with ends Shilique Calhoun and Randy Gregory.

 

In order to rank the top 15 players in the Big Ten for 2014, Athlon Sports sought the insight of several experts from the conference. The voting process was simple. Using criteria such as career performance so far, 2014 potential/projection, pro outlook, recruiting ranking, value to team or overall talent, each voter was asked to rank their top 15 players for 2014.

 

A point system was assigned, giving 15 points for a player with a No. 1 vote, 14 points for a No. 2 vote, 13 points for a No. 3 vote and so on.

 

The Voters:

 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), AthlonSports.com

Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina), BTN.com
Jeff Rapp (@RappUp), SportsRappUp.com

Marc Morehouse (@MarcMorehouse), The Cedar Rapids Gazette

Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88), StateCollege.com

Jesse Temple (@JesseTemple), Fox Sports Wisconsin

Doug Bucshon (@IllinoisRivals), Orange&BlueNews.com

Joe Rexrode (@JoeRexrode), Detroit Free Press
Jeff Potrykus (@JayPo1961), JSOnline.com
Brandon Cavanaugh (@Eightlaces), HuskerCorner.com
Joshua Henschke (@JoshuaHenschke), MaizeNBrew.com
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch), AthlonSports.com

Mike Fiammetta (@B5Q), Bucky's 5th Quarter
Mike Babcock (@MDBabs), HailVarsity.com
Jim Weber (@JimMWeber), LostLettermen.com
Pete Volk (@Pete_Volk), TestudoTimes.com
Kevin Noon (@Kevin_Noon), BuckeyeGrove.com

Braden Gall (@BradenGall), AthlonSports.com

Joe Hudson (@HuskerMax), HuskerMax.com

Pat Harty (@PatHarty), Iowa City Press-Citizen

Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOzone), The-Ozone.net

Kevin Trahan (@K_Trahan), InsideNU.com
Ross Binder (@BHGP), BlackHeartGoldPants.com
Travis Miller (@HammerAndRails) HammerandRails.com
Kevin McGuire (@KevinonCFB), CollegeFootballTalk.com
David Fox (@DavidFox615), AthlonSports.com

Jon Firman (@GopherHole), GopherHole.com
Kevin Recio (@KevRecio), OnTheBanks.com
Jim Vainisi (@JVainisi005), TheChampaignRoom.com
Tyler Waddell (@Tyler_Waddell), AACFootballFever.com

Adam Johnson (@CrimsonQuarry), CrimsonQuarry.com
Jon Johnston (@CornNationCornNation.com

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR), Athlon Sports.com

 

Ranking the Big Ten's Best Players for 2014 (Experts Poll)
RankPlayerTeam12345678910Overall
1Melvin Gordon, RB15374300000444
2Shilique Calhoun, DE5737811000405
3Brandon Scherff, OT4845421201397
4Ameer Abdullah, RB0577541112376
5Randy Gregory, DE6483331200374
6Stefon Diggs, WR2121276125301
7Christian Hackenberg, QB1323242643298
8Michael Bennett, DT0101164222204
9Joey Bosa, DE0002034220156
10Kurtis Drummond, S0000204242155
11Connor Cook, QB0000002161117
12Devin Funchess, WR0000011233114
13Carl Davis, DT000000012373
14Jake Ryan, LB000010031166
15Jeremy Langford, RB000000020262
16Trae Waynes, CB000010111260
17Noah Spence, DE000000111050
18Rob Havenstein, OT000000001141
19Tevin Coleman, RB000001010037
20Kenny Bell, WR000010110036
21Shane Wynn, WR000000001127
22Blake Countess, CB000000100024
23Jeff Heuerman, TE000001000123
24Devin Gardner, QB000000000121
25Chi Chi Ariguzo, LB000000010118
26Ibraheim Campbell, S000000001012
27Jack Allen, OL000000100011
28Taiwan Jones, LB00000000007
29Andre Monroe, DL00000000007
30David Cobb, RB00000000007
31Jabrill Peppers, CB00000000005
32Kyle Costigan, OL00000000004
33Corey Cooper, DB00000000004
34Geno Lewis, WR 00000000004
35Jesse James, TE00000000004
36K. Martin-Manley, WR00000000003
37Darius Hamilton, DT00000000003
38Maxx Williams, TE00000000003
39Sean Davis, S00000000003
40Mike Sadler, P00000000002
41Josh Ferguson, RB00000000002
42Matt Robinson, LB00000000002
43Michael Geiger, K00000000002
44Alex Lewis, OT00000000001
45Maliek Collins, DT00000000001
46Jordan Lucas, CB00000000001
A Few Observations:
 

* Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon had the most first-place votes (15), but the junior did not record a majority of No. 1 rankings among the voters. 18 other first-place votes were cast, including five for Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun.

* Nebraska claimed two of the top five players in the experts poll.

* Maryland receiver Stefon Diggs recorded two first-place votes and ranked the highest among players from the conference’s two new teams (Maryland and Rutgers).
 

* Three Ohio State defensive linemen ranked among the top 17 players.

* Four Michigan State defenders received votes, including two in the top 10.

* 13 teams had players receive votes. Purdue was the only team not to have a player receive a top 15 vote.

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College Football's Top 50 Breakout Players for 2014

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